AKEDAH (orchestra)

— Orchestral version —
A concert story of Genesis 22 with narration and audience participation
16 minutes

(pronounced AH’-keh-dah’)
2, 2[1.2opt], 2, 2[1.2opt], 4hn, 3tp, 3tbn[1.2.3opt], 1tba, timp+4 or 5, hp[opt], pno[opt], org[opt], opt. chorus, str
audience sings related hymn at end


Also available for Concert Band

Video: excerpt, Brigham Young-Idaho Band

YouTube player

Video: Complete work, BYU-Idaho Band

YouTube player

Performed by:

  • The Ohio Northern University Symphony & Malone University Chorale, Travis Jürgens, conducting
  • The Luther Summer Music Festival Band; Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conducting
  • Concordia University Irvine Wind Symphony; Jeff Held, conducting
  • Marietta College Wind Ensemble; Marshall Kimball, conducting
  • Brigham Young University Idaho; Darrell Brown, conducting
  • Wisconsin Lutheran Synod National Honors Band; Erin Meissner, conducting

Akedah performed at 2018 CFAMC National Composers Conference

Ayers’ AKEDAH performed by the Ohio Northern Univ. Symphony and Malone Univ Chorale

Program Notes

Akedah is Hebrew, meaning “the binding,” and refers to the Genesis 22 account of Abraham’s binding of Isaac when God tests Abraham by asking him to offer his son of promise as a burnt offering.  As Abraham raises the knife to slay his son, an angel of the Lord stops Abraham, and God provides the substitutionary sacrifice of the ram caught in the thicket, a prefiguring of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.  

Akedah was commissioned by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Area Lutheran High School Association for the 2013 WELS National Band Festival held at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota.  In addition to thanking the commissioners for the opportunity to compose this work for their National High School Band, the composer also wishes to acknowledge and thank his former student Kendra Hayes Stickle for her suggestion of the Hebrew word Akedah for the title, as well as thanking family friend Alexandra Gomez-Robbins for her thoughtful consultation on possible titles. 

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